The secret’s out! There’s a new family attraction in town and it’s magic! Tucked away at the back of The Potions Cauldron at 9¾ Shambles – one of York’s most famous streets – is a hidden chamber where potions experiences are now on offer, and we went along to try it before it opened.
We made our way through the busy apothecary racked with tinctures, tonics and magical items (take note, Christmas shoppers) and stepped behind the curtain into the potion chamber. Not only is this one of York’s newest attractions, but it’s also the smallest. So while there might not be enough room to swing a black cat, they’ve cleverly created a welcoming space with a sprinkle of sorcery.
At the invitation of Chief Wizard Kai, we took a pew (literally – there are three pews to choose from) and waited for the magic to begin. If we let too many spoilers out of the cauldron, we might find our toes being toasted by a dragon, so let’s just say that the 25-minute experience involves an introduction to potions, a bit of a show and a few surprises.
It’s best suited to children who can sit still for long enough, listen to a story and don’t mind an unexpected loud noise or two (although it’s more silly than it is scary). Oh, and they’ll need to be happy to tuck into a potion (slushie), but that’s probably not going to be an issue for most kids! There’s even an option for ‘poisonous’ potions for the adults, which we were more than happy to tuck into after a long day’s work.
The Potions Experience runs every day and you can pre-book a time slot online or in the shop itself. It’s £5.99 per person or £7.99 for the poisonous potion experience. The Potions Cauldron, 9 3/4 Shambles, York YO1 7LZ – Visit The Potions Cauldron website for more details or to book